First of all, I have totally, 100% swallowed the Canning Kool-Aid. The freezer jam does not compare to the regular jam I made later, I am sad to say.
Second of all, after roasting the 3 lbs of pimiento peppers I got at the Farmer’s Market, I tried FoodPickle to see how to freeze them. They gave me the same answer Google/Cook’s Illustrated gave me, but took longer. I can see the service being useful for things that aren’t easily Google-able, I guess.
Third of all. I made jelly with some of the roasted pimientos and it came out amazing. I ran out of cider vinegar and so I used half cider vinegar/half balsamic, which made the jelly a gorgeous burgundy (the recipe I used suggested food coloring, but that was not necessary). My confidence in mixing the vinegars came from the canning segment on a recent Good Food episode– it had a great discussion of what you can mess with (type of acid, additional herbs and flavorings) when canning and what you can’t (amounts of sugar). The jelly came out pretty spicy, because instead of a jalapeno I added two random peppers that Nathan picked out while I was loading my bag with pimientos (oh, the cheese sandwiches in my future!). And it is going to be great over cream cheese on a Triscuit.
(Adapted from the Dallas Junior League Cookbook.)
- 3/4 cups peppers (about 3 large bell peppers or 4 or 5 smaller pimiento peppers. Roasting is optional but I recommend it for red peppers!)
- 1 1/2 c cider vinegar (or a combination of cider and balsamic vinegar for balsamic jelly)
- 6 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup hot peppers- jalapeno or whatever
- 2 pouches (from one box) Ball liquid pectin
- Green or red food coloring, if you are using green peppers and want your jelly to be REALLY GREEN or red peppers and want your jelly REALLY RED. Food coloring will probably just make it murky if you use balsamic vinegar though.
Sterilize 6 half pint jars. Keep warm. Remove the seeds from your peppers- hot and mild- and grind in a food processor or blender. Mix peppers (and any resulting liquid), vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl and bring to a full, rolling boil. Add pectin and boil again for one minute. Remove from heat. Skim the foam if you are into that. Add food coloring if desired. Pour into jars and seal. Chill before serving.
(The Dallas Junior League recommends this over cream cheese with crackers, of course, but also thinks this is especially good with barbecued doves wrapped in bacon and charcoal grilled.)